Remember the Ducati Supermono? Well, it might just be making a comeback
Designer Pierre Terblanche Working on a New ’Mono’ Conceptby Harry Fisher, on
Pierre Terblanche is credited with giving Ducati as design language that can be traced from the 1990s through to today. One bike, the Supermono, was built in very small numbers for a one-make race series and its design influenced that of iconic Ducatis such as the 916. Now Terblanche is working on a replacement and we should be very excited!
Pierre Terblanche Reveals "Mono" Concept
It was, perhaps, his most significant piece of design for Ducati: the Supermono by Pierre Terblanche was only in production for two years and only 65 were ever built, but the design has gone down as a classic and echoes of it can be seen in every Ducati sports bike since.
If you want to get an idea of how Terblanche’s mind works, read this interview and you’ll see that he has unfinished work with motorcycle design in general.
Now, it seems that Terblanche has been working on an updated Supermono concept and these first pictures let us know that his mind is still probing and pushing boundaries.
On display at the Barber Advanced Design Centre, where Terblanche has ben working, this new concept is sure to be just as controversial as some of his other designs and is sure to polarise opinion.
What is immediately clear is that this is not a funning motorcycle....yet! Nor is the design finalised: it’s a work in progress but there are some clues we can pick up on.
The main thing to notice is the monocoque chassis construction, with large ram air tubes forming the front portion of the frame. It’s not possible to see what engine is being used, although some outlets are claiming that the bit of cylinder head that can be seen is from a Ducati Testastretta four-valve V-Twin engine. Don’t expect this bike to house a V-Twin, however: Terblanche’s views on those are quite clear in the above interview!
It also appears that the exhaust headers are emerging from the rear of the cylinder head, possibly leading to an under-seat muffler?
What has many people perplexed is the front suspension. It appears to be more like a bicycle front fork, y-shaped with both legs merging into one at the headstock. Interestingly, the fork legs and stanchions are right way up, which flies in the face of current thinking. At the bottom of the fork leg, however, there seems to be a second stanchion protruding out of the fork leg. It is possible this is some form of anti-dive mechanism.
As with any Terblanche design, low weight is the mantra and everything from the wheels to the bodywork is likely to adhere to that. And expect the bodywork to be as slippery as possible with an emphasis on directing air around the rider without it having to be bulky and offering a large frontal area.
There is clearly a lot of work still to be done and it isn’t certain that Terblanche’s team could produce a running motorcycle. But who would be best placed to do that? We’ll have to wait and see.
All Images: https://www.instagram.com/nealebaylyrides/